Origin of Wine and Irrigation

Donald Bahr, Juan Smith, William Smith Allison and Julian Hayden

in The Short, Swift Time of Gods on Earth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1994 | ISBN: 9780520084674
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520914568 | DOI:
Origin of Wine and Irrigation

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This chapter explores two myths, the first of which is really an adjunct to the stories on farming and family life. It gives the origin of the cactus wine ceremony, a topic that was treated at the end of the Thin Leather Corn and Tobacco text. The cactus wine ritual is for the purpose of bringing rain, which is best seen in the chanted or orated speeches that are given during the event. Wine feast speeches sometimes also mention drinking, and the subsequent vomiting of cactus wine and rumbling of people's stomachs and bowels. Thus, the humans act in sympathy with the clouds that they hope to attract. To Juan Smith and William Allison, the ceremony is a misuse of saguaros and an excuse for drunkenness. Siuuhu, they say, did not intend saguaro to be used this way.

Keywords: myths; farming; family; cactus; wine; ceremony; Juan Smith; William Allison; saguaros; Siuuhu

Chapter.  3382 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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